National Volunteer Week: Paul Sharpe

Our fourth National Volunteer Week profile is Paul Sharpe from Umina SLSC. Sharpey is the Club President and has played a key role as part of the organising committee for the State Championships over the last four years.

Volunteering Australia’s slogan for National Volunteer Week is ‘Give Happy, Live Happy’. What does this mean to you?

I am lucky to live near the beach and be able to give my time to the community by being somewhere I love. I take being a Surf Life Saving volunteer very seriously as we are entrusted with ensuring the community are safe while visiting our beaches and I can pass knowledge down to our younger members to ensure our beaches are safe for years to come.

When did you join Surf Life Saving and why?

I joined in 1976 as a Nipper as my father was Club President at the time. I continued on as a patrolling member until 1990 where I stepped away for about 10 years. I re-joined in 2005 and since then have been an active member of the surf club.

Why do you volunteer?

My motivation for volunteering to Surf Life Saving is to see the young members of our club give back to the community through patrolling beaches, learning skills that could possibly save a life and provide them a strong ethic to take into adulthood. I am most happy when I see our younger members not only succeeding but trying their best at whatever they endeavour to do.

A great example is this latest Australian Championships. We went away as a small team. Individually there were some great performances but my proudest moment came when one of our team members swam around the wrong can in the swim teams heat. She turned around and completed the course for a second time to ensure the team was still in contention for finals. She came out of the water in tears but her teammates were all there at the finish line ready to console her and let her know that they were proud of her no matter what.

What ways do you contribute to Surf Life Saving as a volunteer?

I am currently President of Umina Surf Club and also an active patrolling member.

What's the favourite thing about been a volunteer?

Giving back to the community and seeing the growth in the younger members of our surf club.

What would you tell someone to encourage them to become a Surf Life Saving volunteer?

Umina surf club is all about family and friends. You can make lifelong friendships while also having the satisfaction of knowing you are ensuring the beaches are safe and the lives of the visitors to our beaches are protected.

Favourite moment as a volunteer in Surf Life Saving?

This year’s Australian Championships and seeing all the athletes achieve their goals but also watching them become a true team and being there for each other.

Fri 13 May 2016